Anarchy and The Value Of A Photograph

Fabien Breuvart pulled off what I would call a lovely stunt great piece of performance art last week in Paris. He and a half dozen accomplices scrounged up several giant garbage bags full of anonymous vintage photos and–in a fit of anarchy–dumped these thousands of photos into a huge pile in front of the VIP entrance of the posh Paris Photo 2009 gala underway at the Louvre.

Inside the event, some of the worlds most valued photographs were aiming to fetch $60,000, but thanks to Breuvart, the international art crowd seemed more attuned to pile of vintage photography amidst cries of “free photos!” out front…seemingly a choice to stay outside to collect, even cherish, free and unusual images that had “no value”, rather than sip champagne and salivate over art whose value was chosen by others.

Is it tomfoolery or a breath of fresh air to see culturally-literate adults scavenging for pictures on their hands and knees as if they were kids and the pinata had just exploded at a birthday party. Is this a story about a stunt, about the power of photography, the maligned “value” of what the art market assigns to be worth our attention?

Video of the anarchists in action after the jump…[click the ‘continue reading’ link below]

(Note: the vid is in French, but that doesn’t keep you from understanding the “event” perfectly. You clearly get the sense that it’s there’s a disconnect present between value and no value, whos who and anonymity, the posh and the streets.)

[via the lovely blog Lens Culture.]

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